Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself to the Blastzone Online readers?
SC: Hello, Blastzone readers…been reading things on the site. Pretty cool. I’m Steve Coulter, and just finished a run on The Walking Dead as Reg Monroe.
MW: Give me a short background of your career?
SC: I always pretended stuff as a kid. Studied acting at the North Carolina School of the Arts then moved to New York. New York was kinda’ nasty and dangerous back then. Did all sorts of jobs…limo driver, bouncer at a folk music club…to support myself as an actor. Did a bunch of plays. Didn’t really start making a living til around 1993. Since then, have been fortunate to be in around 60 films and TV shows, like The Hunger Games, Insidious 2 & 3, The Conjuring, a bunch of TV movies, a recurring role on Banshee. Oh, and I was also Tyler Perry’s head writer for his two TV shows.
MW: How did you get cast as Reg Monroe on The Walking Dead season 5?
SC: My agent sent me audition and put myself on tape. Didn’t know it was for a recurring role. They’d disguised the audition scene so they wouldn’t give away any plot stuff…in the scene I was at a NY cocktail party, complimenting a guy who I’d seen in several TED talks (yeah, not your typical TWD scene). Found out I got the part the morning of my birthday – and that it was a recurring role. Great birthday present.
MW: Had you watched The Walking Dead before?
SC: Oh, yeah…I’ve been a big fan since the very first episode. Hooked me in right away.
MW: How was it working with the cast of The Walking Dead?
SC: It may sound corny, but I’ve never worked with a nicer cast & crew. I was really spoiled. You’d think with a #1 show, there’d be lots of egos. But, no…just a bunch of kind, generous, funny and hard-working people.
MW: When you were cast as Reg did you know your time in The Walking Dead universe would be very short?
SC: Ha…nope. I thought I’d be around next season. After I’d been there a few weeks, though, I got a message that said “Scott Gimple (the showrunner) wants to talk to you about what’s coming up in the finale.” I thought, “Uh-oh”. So when he called, I answered the phone & said “I’m gonna die, aren’t I?” He apologized over a dozen times. But he did say my death was going to be the climactic scene of the season finale. I figured, if you gotta die on the show, not a bad way to go out.
MW: Tell the readers a story from The Walking Dead set?
SC: I have two…one that shows how nice those guys are & one that shows how hard they work…
One morning in the hair & makeup trailer, Steven Yeun (who plays Glenn) poked his head in, asking to borrow a bicycle. He then rode into town & bought coffee and pastries for the whole hair & makeup crew. Apparently this was something he does fairly often.
Right after Rick and Pete have been fighting in the street, Andy Lincoln had a long, emotional speech that he yells to Deanna and the rest of the residents. We must’ve done something like 30 or more takes, from every angle, and wide and close shots. He did that speech at full throttle, 100%, every…single…take. Even when the camera wasn’t on them. Never seen anything like it. He was also one of the first people to welcome me, and the last to say goodbye.
MW: What was your favorite scene to do for The Walking Dead?
SC: Probably the scene with Noah, where he asks me about teaching him to build things. It was not your typical Walking Dead scene…there was a lot of gentle hope in that scene. I was really looking forward to seeing how that relationship would grow. But then I got to the scene in the script with the revolving door…
MW: Please tell the readers about getting your throat sliced by Pete?
SC: Not to sound masochistic, but it was pretty fun to do. The night we shot, it was about 20 degrees outside. The effects guys tried to warm up the blood for me, and there was a lot of it. We shot Reg’s death in two sections…the first was after my throat has been slasshed, and I’m falling back in Deanna’s arms. For that, the created a prosthetic “gash” in my neck, and inserted a tube up through my pant leg & sweater that came u to and behind the gash. So as I’m lying there, they pumped the blood out. The second section was right when Pete slashed my throat. For that, they had a clear plastic tube around my neck with a little opening in the front. Again, another tube up my pant leg & sweater, bit this time they had a motorized pump that would shoot the blood out from my neck. They digitally removed the tube around my neck in post production.
MW: How surreal was that scene to do?
SC: Very surreal. And emotional. It was a very ugly scene, and all the actors on set really got into it, particularly Tovah Feldshuh, who played Deanna. As I was lying there, bleeding in her arms, I felt her tears fall on my cheek. You try to make moments like that as realistic as possible – you don’t want to do a “TV death”. In needs to be savage. I wanted the look on Reg’s face to be like a dying animal…the shock and surprise…just wanting to stay alive.
MW: How can Walking Dead fans reach you to get a autograph or just say hi?
SC: For autographs, the can send request to me, c/o One Entertainment 347 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1404, New York, NY 10016
And Twitter’s best way to say hi: @coulter28 I read every tweet…the Walking Dead fans are amazing, like one big worldwide family.
MW: Are you doing any conventions in the near future?
SC: Don’t know which ones yet, but will definitely be coming to the conventions. I’ll let folks know on Twitter. Can’t wait to meet the fans in person.
MW: What other acting stuff do you have going on?
SC: Just shot a lead role in next Bruce Willis movie, called Extraction. I play his foul-mouthed boss in the CIA. My character, Carl, returns in Insidious 3, which opens on June 5th.
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
SC: Just want to say what an incredible adventure it has been, joining the Walking Dead family. I’ve been amazed and humbled at the kindness of all the fans all over the world. Never seen anything like it. So want to say a big thank you to all of you. You are truly the best.